Belfast Telegraph

Anger as inquest into 1972 death is delayed yet again

The family of an Army officer who was shot dead in a training ground exercise almost 40 years ago have told of their dismay that an inquest into his death is facing further delay.

Duncan Munro McLuckie was due to give evidence yesterday at the fresh probe into the shooting of Warrant Officer Bernard Adamson (30) at a military firing range in Co Fermanagh in 1972.

But the hearing has now been adjourned to allow McLuckie to consider whether he will appeal a court decision to allow a conviction he has for murder being reported during the proceedings.

Mr Adamson's family expressed anger at the latest delay to the new inquest, which was ordered by the Attorney General. One of his daughters — Catherine Adamson Mercer — had flown from America to give evidence.

The family's lawyer Des Doherty conveyed their upset.

“It's extremely disappointing, the family are very upset that the matter is not proceeding,” he said.

McLuckie fired the shot that killed the father-of-four but was not charged over an incident the Ministry of Defence concluded was a tragic accident in which live cartridges had got mixed in with blank rounds. An inquest in the same year returned an open verdict.

But 17 years later, having left the Army, McLuckie was convicted of murder over an unconnected death and is serving a life sentence in a high security prison in the north of England.

It was these facts that the ‘high risk' category A prisoner in HMP Frankland did not want reported in the Press during the fresh inquest, claiming it could have influenced the jury's deliberations.

Belfast Telegraph

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